Singular agreement in there-existentials
The phenomenon of “singular agreement” (“SA”) in there-existentials — the combination of a plural post-verbal notional subject and a singular verb — has been the subject of a number of studies which have confirmed its covariation with a range of social, stylistic and grammatical factors. Whereas the focus of most such studies has been on the relative influence of these factors, that of the present study is on the nature and frequency of SA across (a selection of eight) World Englishes. Beginning with the assumption, for which there is indirect evidence in the literature, that SA is on the rise in contemporary English, an attempt is made to relate the degree of advancement of the eight varieties to their evolutionary status and characteristic style orientations.
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